Monday, 9 February 2009

I, Robot


I've just had a very interesting experience. A little while ago I was very disparaging about a device called the Neater Eater, a mechanism that spoon feeds disabled people food at the table. (I think I said I'd rather starve than use it.) However further investigation of the company's other products revealed a more promising prospect, the Neater Arm.

A motor drives an exo-skeletal arm which in turn supports a muscle weakened arm like mine. The idea of the device is that it is fixed to an electric wheelchair and thus powered by its battery. This afternoon a rep bought a demonstra4ion model for me to try. This one was free standing rather than attached to my chair but it gave me an idea of what it might enable me to do. For a start I could lift a mug from the table and raise a fork to my mouth, something I have been unable to do for a while.

I have attempted to attach a video of the trial to this post. It is about 90 seconds long, with no sound, but it is also at the limit of my technological know how, so apologies if it doesn't work. I made it so the OT would understand what I was talking about and why I want to raise £2,934 ($4,380) to pay for it. That's a lot of money, but when the alternative is to have someone spoon feed you, I think it's worth the effort.

My plan is to upgrade the motor so I can lift boulders or small cars to throw at baddies. Wheelchair Man will live at last! (Don't tell the OT, superhero funding comes out of another departmental budget.)